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Fantasy Writers

Stories and Fantasies

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  • #133054
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    @this-is-not-an-alien haha yes, we will see what happens next 😉

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #133057
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    Section 6 of Esthelle’s storyyyyy

    ——-

    On an early morning, two days later, Heyga entered their room with a set of servants.

    “Rise and shine, girls.” She spoke.

    Esthelle yawned and stretched, sitting up and looking around the room.

    A servant was opening the curtains to let the light in.

    Once all five were awake, Heyga continued. “Today we have a good friend of the king, a lord, who will interview each of you in turn.”

    They all glanced at each other. A lord? Interviewing them?

    “You must hurry and ready yourselves.” Heyga added. “The first five in group one will be first.” She glanced down at some papers, “Next will be you in this order: Aillia Jarvis, Esthelle Farringson, Myla Faerous, Ava , and lastly Rose .”

    The girls all nodded and began to slip out of bed.

    Heyga turned, “I’ll come for Miss Jarvis soon.”

    Aillia blinked, and Esthelle could tell that she hadn’t been called that before.

    Heyga left as abruptly as she had entered and the girl’s all bathed and changed.

    When a servant brought Esthelle a dress she shook her head, “I would like something more simple, less extravagant, please..” She said quietly.

    The servant bowed and returned with a simple gown, and Esthelle smiled, “Thank you.” The servant nodded and began to prepare her hair, to which Esthelle added, “you can leave it like it is, I like it that way.”

    When they were all ready, Esthelle looked at the others and then back at herself. Her gown was way more simple than theirs, in fact she looked rather common, but she only smiled.

    Even if it were the king, she would dress just as simple. It wasn’t like her to wear such fancy clothes.

    Esthelle picked up her book and sat in a chair.

    Soon Heyga returned and gestured to Aillia, “Come, dear. You look lovely.”

    Aillia, unusually silent, followed the woman out of the room.

    Rose watched her go then turned to Esthelle, “What do you think will happen?”

    Esthelle thought for a moment, “depends on what the lord is like, I suppose.”

    Rose nodded and went silent.

    It was half an hour before Aillia was led back to their room. As she entered, Heyga gestured to Esthelle, “your turn..” Esthelle set her book aside and stood.

    She and Allia exchanged looks. She could sense that the girl was uneasy.

    But they had no time to exchange words.

    Esthelle sighed and followed Heyga out of the room.

    Heyga was silently bustling forward, and Esthelle appreciated the quiet.

    She was led down a hall and around a corridor.

    They soon reached a door, and Heyga opened it. “Miss Farringson to see you, sir.”

    Heyga turned and smiled at Esthelle, gesturing for her to enter.

    Esthelle took a deep breath, and entered the room.

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #133322
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    I woke up with a splitting headache and sat up with a groan.
    “Where am I?” I said to myself, looking around. I started. There were creatures peeking at me from behind trees. I could not call them humans or animals, for they were neither, though some more-or-less resembled one of them. I saw unicorns, dwarves, and what looked to be elves. I even saw a pegasus!  But still, I had no idea where I was and cried out in alarm.

    One of the Elves, who looked to be the leader, stepped toward me.

    “Who are you?” he asked, “and where do you come from?”

    “I’m Mercedes Benz,” I replied, “and I’m from earth. And the real question is, where am I?”

    “Mercedes, that’s a queer name.”

    Wow, I said to myself, they must be old fashion if they use that word here.

    “And to answer your question,” he continued, “you are in Gaus. I have never heard of your earth before. How rude of me, I have not introduced myself. I am Gayin, king of the Elvin.”

    So that’s what they are.

    “Can you get me back to my world?”

    He looked thoughtful, “No, I cannot, but King Cranaus Ismail might. He is the king of a race like yours and all the kings and crowned princes have sorcery powers.”

    “Can you bring me to him?” I asked hopefully.

    “Yes, but first I must get you some clothes. It is shameful to be seen in such garb.”

    I looked down at my jeans and tank top. I wondered what was wrong with my clothes until I looked at Gayin. He was wearing a forest green shirt and dull brown pants. His clothes looked like something Robin Hood would wear. No, they looked more like the clothes of Tolkien’s elves. Do all Elves dress like this? I wondered if they were as agile as Tolkien’s Elves.

    Gayin started speaking again. “Now you cannot wear the clothes of our woman. They are not the garments of your race and I do not believe they would fit you anyways.”

    I took offense at his at first but then realised how fair in stature this Elvin was. If they were all like that, including their women, there was no way I would fit in their clothes, as thin as I was. Hight wouldn’t have been a problem, as I was short for my age, only five foot three inches, but they were much too slender.

    “But clothes will be no problem,” he continued. “We shall just take you to Mistress (need to find name still) She is a tailor who specializes in dresses and will certainly have your size for she always has much clothing ready for unfortunate souls who are in need of garb. Follow me and we’ll give you a unicorn. It’s a two days ride from here.”

    I followed him to his village, which I had landed by, and they gave me a black unicorn, whose name they told me was Spartan, to ride. While they were grabbing provisions, I looked around me. The village was small, unlike Tolkien’s great Elve cities, but the houses were nice and they seemed to lack nothing. Small children, who were playing in the streets, stopped their games to gaze at me. I must have been a strange sight to behold in my deemed ‘unfit’ clothing.

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

    #133350
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    In honor of @joelle-stone , here’s the next chunk of my story

    ~*~

    Staring at the fallen beast Nadia realized with horror that one of the defenders had been caught between the heavy corpse and the battlements. Alexander Northiron, she guessed. The Duke’s son.

    Frozen as she was with fear and shock, Nadia only managed a startled gasp when Ada broke free of her grasp and sprinted towards the wall. “Ada!” she called, then chased after her. The younger girl dodged agilely through the gathering crowd as Nadia nimbly followed. Once she reached the wall Ada paused only long enough to find handholds and began scaling the old, worn masonry with alarming celerity. Above on the battlements the guardsmen were trying to make their way to Alexander. But the dead wyvern seemed too great of an obstruction.

    Nadia reached the wall and, realizing she had not much choice, began climbing after Ada.

     

     

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

    #133456
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @skylarynn,

    I’m just gonna repost your story with my edits in brackets and commentary in italics. 🙂

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Staring at the fallen beast[,] Nadia realized with horror that one of the defenders had been caught between the heavy corpse and the battlements. Alexander Northiron, she guessed. The Duke’s son.

    Frozen as she was with fear and shock, Nadia only managed a startled gasp when Ada broke [twisted] free of her grasp and sprinted towards the wall. “Ada!” she called, then (use then the least amount possible. Maybe “Ada!” she called. When her friend didn’t respond, Nadia shook her head and chased after her.)  chased after her. (add paragraph)

    The younger girl dodged agilely through the gathering crowd as Nadia nimbly followed. Once she reached the wall[,] Ada paused only long enough to find handholds and began scaling the old, worn masonry with alarming celerity (nice vocabulary!). Above on the battlements [On the battlements above] the guardsmen were trying to make their way to Alexander. But the dead wyvern seemed too great of an obstruction.

    Nadia reached the wall and, realizing she had not [didn’t have] much choice, began climbing after Ada.

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Nicely done! I love your style, and am intrigued with the story (I mean, DRAGONS!). A tip I got yesterday, though, is to avoid adverbs as much as you can. The teacher (Andrew Peterson) basically said that if you have to use an adverb, you probably need a stronger verb. Just an idea. 🙂 Hopefully the way I decided to edit wasn’t confusing. If you want me to be more or less critical, let me know! 🙂

    "Lacho calad! Drego morn!"

    #133458
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    Okaaaaaay, part I-don’t-know-which of The Half-Elf. Sorry I haven’t posted in a while – life is hectic. I would love critique, but if you don’t have time/it’s stressful trying to get it done, don’t worry about it. Enjoy (and don’t cringe too much)!

    ————————————————————————————————————

    (Review: “I’m still coming,” Rhea replied stoutly. Suddenly her face broke into her typical grin. “I’ll help you remember your Elvish name. What is it?”

    “Lárawen,” answered Nayandi, a ghost of a smile appearing on her lips.

    Dawn broke, throwing the shadows of the two sisters, closer in bonds than in blood, far out in front of them.)

    ~~~

    Nayandi snapped out of her reverie when a loud crackling sound filled the silent woods. She had an arrow on the string before you could say “Run for it.” Rhea smiled sheepishly as she lifted her ankle boot off of an old, dead stick that now lay cracked in two. “Sorry,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. Her eyes abruptly widened as she looked past her sister. “Nayandi, look! A light! A bright light!”

    The half-Elf turned to behold the light of day shining between the thinning trees. “We made it to the end,” she whispered. “Now the journey has just begun.”

     

    Indeed, they had only conquered their first challenge: the Silent Forest. Before them stretched the sandy shores of the Great Sea, where grey waves lapped the pale shore.

    Laughing, Rhea shot out onto the beach. “Look, Nayandi! The sky! Isn’t it beautiful?”

    Nayandi turned her head up and beheld the prettiest thing she had ever seen. White, fleecy clouds drifted across skies so blue it took your breath away. She sighed.

    “Where to now?” Rhea asked, appearing beside her somber sister.

    “We’ll spend the night here,” Nayandi replied. “Do you want to hunt?”

    Rhea made a face. “Of course not. You know I hate killing things unnecessarily.”

    “Then you get to set up camp.” Nayandi tossed her sister the flint to strike against a dagger blade. Rhea set to work immediately as Nayandi returned to the woods to hunt.

    A seabird was roasting over the cheerfully crackling fire when Nayandi went to wash her face and hands. A freshwater creek ran to the ocean only a few yards away from their camp. She knelt down, keeping her long hair out of the water, and cupped her hands. Dipping them into the clear liquid, she breathed deep, enjoying the feeling of solitude. She rubbed sand between her fingers and rinsed them off. Suddenly she paused, staring at her reflection in the creek.

    What had happened to the carefree child of ages long ago? Here was a young woman, with deep brown hair and pointed ears. Her dark eyes were changed beyond recognition, for they bore a gravity and sorrow never seen there before. Nayandi splashed water onto her face, chiding herself at her silliness. How can one be surprised at growing up? And yet, a measure of sadness rested on her heart. Not just for the loss of her father and the only mother she knew, but for her older brother, who had changed as she had. For days gone by that she wished she could have changed. Fear resided with the sorrow, for even if she was not afraid of danger, or death, or creatures of such malice they cannot be described, she did hold the fear of failure; the fear of making the wrong choice; the fear of fear. She glanced back at the girl in the water. The thought crossed her mind before she could stop it: she did look like she would imagine an Elf named Lárawen would.

    Shaking her head, Nayandi rose to her feet and turned back to the fire. Shock raced through her body as she made out the dark, grotesque shapes of about half a dozen Orcs swarming about the camp. An arrow came swiftly to her string as she hurried closer, using the cover of the woods to her advantage as she tried to find out what had happened to Rhea.

    Her sister was in the grip of a sneering Orc, who held one of her own daggers to her ribs. Laughing hoarsely, he drew the knife back as Rhea squirmed in his grasp, her eyes wide. Suddenly, an arrow thunked into the wrist around Rhea’s neck, missing her head by mere inches. The Orc screamed and let her go, grasping the shaft in agony. The Orcs around the fire dropped to the ground as more shafts appeared, piercing the leg of one and instantly felling another.

    Rhea did not drop, for she knew her sister’s arrows when she saw them. She snatched her daggers out of the leader’s hands and engaged him. Although the Orc was a powerful fighter, he was wounded and she was light on her feet. Rhea had soon taken him down and was dueling with another. Nayandi joined in the fray once most of her arrows were gone, taking many Orcs’ lives and sending others into retreat. Soon, only two of the original seven were left. They scampered off as the sisters stalked towards them, casting venomous glares at the weapon-wielding maids.

    “You can be sure that they’ll be back if we don’t keep our wits about us,” Nayandi remarked when the last Orc had disappeared. She knelt and wiped her blade on a strip of grass, then sheathed the weapon. “Come, help me with these ones.”

    “Why did we need to kill them all?” Rhea asked as they hauled an Orc to the sea and cast him in.

    “It is either kill or be killed with these creatures,” Nayandi replied after a moment. “I nearly missed this one.”

    “But you hit that Orc’s wrist, right next to my head!” Rhea cried, aghast. “How did you know it wouldn’t hit me?”

    “How can anyone be sure?” Nayandi answered. “I had to take the risk. But I also had more time to aim carefully with that one than with the others.”

    “Let’s hope no more lives need to be lost,” Rhea responded, glancing back at the waves as they walked back to the fire.

    “I hope so too, sister,” Nayandi murmured. “But I doubt it.”

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Once again, sorry for the choppiness of this story. Good job with yours, guys! 😀

    "Lacho calad! Drego morn!"

    #133460
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    Section 7 of Esthelle’s Story

    ——————

    He stood.

    Esthelle noted his age. He was young, but not as young as she. Around the king’s age. He had soft brown eyes, dark wavy hair, a trimmed beard and a kind smile. To her surprise, he was also dressed quite simply.

    She smiled slightly and gave him a curtsy.

    He bowed, and gestured for her to sit down. “Hello.” His voice was kind and strong.

    “Hello.” She quietly replied.

    “I hope that this ordeal hasn’t been too hard on you.” He spoke.

    She nodded. “Others have had it worse than me.” She replied.

    He nodded, then smiled, “Let’s get on with the interview then.”

    Esthelle smiled slightly.

    “You’re name?”

    “Esthelle. Esthelle Farringson.” She spoke.

    He nodded, “That’s a lovely name.”

    “Thank you.”

    “And your parents?”

    Esthelle blinked, then frowned, “I-I have no parents. My cousin, Lieutenant Mrodi Farringson, is my guardian.”

    He frowned. “I see..” He paused, “What would you do if you were queen?”

    Esthelle was quiet for a few moments before replying. “I’ve not thought about it. A queen’s power is limited, so…” she shrugged, “I’m not sure what I’d do.”

    “The right kind of queen could influence the king’s decisions. The king would always come to you before making any big laws.” The lord added, his eyes gazed into hers and his voice was soft. A small, kind smile appeared.

    She gave a nod.

    Esthelle was thoughtful for a moment, then spoke, “Excuse me, sir, but what is your position when it comes to the Lepai?”

    The lord shrugged, “What about the Lepai?”

    “They get taken, torn from their families, and murdered. For no reason but the hatred against them. They may be Lepai, but they are still Latteans, and they don’t deserve such treatment.”

    The lord frowned, “I was not aware of this.”

    Esthelle left it at that, changing the subject. “Who are you, sir? You don’t seem like any lord I’ve heard of.”

    He shrugged. “You don’t seem like any commoner I’ve heard of either.” He replied with a grin.

    Esthelle smiled slightly and stood, walking over to the window. She looked out in thought for a moment. “You’re not a lord, are you?” She thought for several more moments, then turned, “You are the king. Aren’t you?”

    ——-

    I’ll leave it at that until next timeeeeeeeeee

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #133558
    Rebekah12
    @rebekah12

    Sorry for the delay guys!! Ran into unforseen complications. Prepare for a LONG chapter. *reads stuff*


    @emma-walker

    😮😮 It is not an easy thing to make a cliffhanger that actually gets to me. Good job.


    @skylarynn

    Wow. Okay. Don’t root for wyverns. Got it.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Chapter 3

     

    Gryphons wheeled in the sky above the burning village, several dropping like the eagles they so resembled. More of the creatures prowled about the ground, their riders having dismounted. Uldorian foot soldiers were scattered thinly throughout, both within and without the burning village which lay below the two children, at the bottom of the slope where they now stood.

    Kaleiva’s heart thudded in her ears, and hardly had she had time to register what she was seeing when she saw Culvin begin to run again. Toward the village.

    She dove after him, barely managing to snag his arm before he was gone. “Culve!” she shouted as they both fell to the ground. “Culve, no! Don’t go down there!”

    Culvin was on his feet in a moment, pulling away from Kaleiva, and leaving her in the dust. “Get back in the trees, Kaley. Get as far away as you can. I’ll find you; just don’t follow me.”

    Kaleiva propped herself up on her elbows, and puffed a strand of hair out of her face. Her eyes flashed as she looked up at her brother. “And where are you going?”

    Culvin turned away from her as she stood, preparing to run but not ready just yet. “I’m going in.”

    Kaleiva grabbed his shoulder, not bothering to brush the dirt from her hands or skirt, and turned her brother so that he faced her once more. “They’ll take you,” she hissed at him, trying to force the panic out of her voice. “Don’t go.” Her voice cracked. “Please.”

    Culvin took her face in his calloused hands, then embraced her. “I have to find Mother and Father. And the others. They’ll know what to do. The Dually raiders don’t know we’re here, so that gives us an advantage.” He paused a moment. “If I’m not back by nightfall, get to Ardov. That’s where Grandmother Nurys lives.” Then, before she could object, he pushed away from her and charged down the slope.

    Kaleiva pushed her dirty dark-brown hair out of her face and behind one ear, and followed him, staying hidden as best she could.

    Hardly was she halfway down the hill when she was enveloped in the cloud of smoke emitting from the village.

    Coughing and rubbing her stinging eyes, she kept on.

    The smoke grew thicker, and before long, she could hardly see her hand when she waved it in front of her face.

    Out of nowhere, a charcoaled structure — likely one of the barns in or near the fields — loomed before her, and Kaleiva ducked aside, dropping to the ground to find her way by touch. By now, she could feel the heat of the flames consuming the village. The earth was black powder, and hot against her skin.

    It was then that a strong wind began to blow, chasing away the gray, foul-smelling fog. Coughing and blinking rapidly, Kaleiva stood, finding that she could see, albeit rather blurrily at first.

    The azure sky was tinted with a disgusting orange-yellow, and the sun was more red than gold.

    Fire crackled to her left, as well as straight ahead, and she found that she could see the flames, smaller than she’d thought they would be, devouring the half of the village furthest from her, the nearer half already having burned itself out.

    How long has the fire been going?

    Then she heard footsteps. Heavy footsteps. They were accompanied by the metallic clink of armor.

    Kaleiva dropped to the ground, rolling against one of the blackened houses.

    An Uldorian warrior, his armor encasing his muscular frame as snugly as a glove, strode past her, not so much as glancing her way.

    He was followed by four more, two dragging an unconscious Marv man between them, and the other two each lugging a young child. Uncle Jendar, Mendia, Kaldir. . . Kaleiva realized with shock. She lay lower upon the warm earth.

    Her heart thudded in her ears until she could hardly hear anything else.

    Mendia was barely breathing, as far as she could tell, and Kaldir’s eyes were alarmingly unfocused.

    When the five Uldorian raiders and their prisoners had passed, Kaleiva lay still, wondering what she ought to do.

    She wasn’t sure how much time passed as she crouched there; she lay in fear, knowing exactly what would happen if she was seen, and was aware of little else.

    Suddenly, a hoarse soft cough sounded, and Kaleiva flinched, startled, then mentally screamed at herself for reacting. Then, after several minutes had passed with no sign of either an Uldorian raider or a Chiv Gryphonrider, she realized that the sound couldn’t possibly have belonged to an enemy. It sounded as though it was that of a. . . child?

    Slowly, Kaleiva moved to her feet, straightening slowly, and looking around warily. Then, in a quick burst of speed, she ran from her hiding place to the shadow of another building, this one little more than a burnt husk of a farmhouse.

    The cough came again. Whoever had made the sound was inside. After a silent few moments of inner debate, Kaleiva slipped inside the charcoaled structure.

    The inside wasn’t nearly as charred as she had expected it to be after seeing the outside; patches of recognizable wood still remained, and all at once she realized whose home it was.

    It was her own.

    The cough sounded again, from behind a fallen beam. Kaleiva, doing her best to quell her nerves, stepped over to it and peered over. There, lying upon the ground, between a fallen beam and the blackened wall, lay Enara.

    For a full moment, Kaleiva only stared, forcing herself to comprehend that she really had just found her little sister. Then she heard heavy footsteps outside, accompanied by clanking armor, and knew that she couldn’t hesitate any longer. She grabbed the moaning little girl and held her close, clapping a hand over her mouth, then dodged into the shadows. She waited until the sounds had grown further away, and then leaving her little sister upon the ground, peeked cautiously out of the doorway.

    Nothing.

    Picking up Enara again, she left the burnt house and ran back through the smoking half of the village, up the slope, and then into the woods. As soon as she reached the trees, Kaleiva bent down and laid her little sister behind an oak’s thick trunk, then turned back toward her village.

    Culvin. He might be an idiot, but she couldn’t just leave him. He was her brother.

    Kaleiva looked back down at Enara. The little girl was nearly unconscious, but her eyes focused just slightly upon her. “Kal. . . Kaley?” she whispered hoarsely. “Is th. . . that you?”

    Kaleiva’s heart felt as though it had snapped in two. “Yes,” she answered softly. “Yes, it’s me.” She looked once again toward her village, then back at her little sister. “I’ll be right back, En.”

    Before Enara could protest — or perhaps she was too weak to do so in the first place, and that was why Kaleiva heard nothing — she ran back down the slope, this time taking no care to remain hidden, for she doubted that there was time for that.

    Hardly had she ducked into the cluster of burnt houses that had been her home when, from far above, she heard a screech, animalian, neither eagle nor lion, but some hybrid of both.

    She dropped to her stomach on pure instinct, and rolled into what little cover the nearest structure could afford. Curling up in the ash and charcoal, Kaleiva looked up at the sky warily.

    The smoke rising from the still-burning half of the village had begun to dissipate, revealing the winged menaces overhead more clearly. A shiver ran down her spine as she realized that her chances of finding her brother and getting out again safely were dwindling rapidly.

    One gryphon let out a squealing cry and dove, but not at her. Kaleiva looked in the direction the birdlike creature was focused on just in time to see a dirty boy dodge into the shelter of a burnt-out building, but it was too late; he’d been seen by his enemies.

    Culvin. Kaleiva was on her feet in a moment, not heeding the fact that her one chance for escape might be slipping away. All she knew, all she wanted to know, was that her twin brother was in danger, and she was the only one left who could help him.

    She began to run toward him.

    The gryphon’s burly rider leapt out of the saddle as soon as his mount was near enough to the ground, landing easily and running at Culvin. He pulled the boy from his hiding place and when he struggled, slammed his fist into his head to knock him out, then slung him over his shoulder and remounted his gryphon. The animal returned to the sky high overhead.

    Kaleiva skidded to a stop. She could feel tears rising, and the pressure of sobs building in her chest. No.

    She didn’t notice the rush of wings above her.

    Raaaayaak!

    Fear flooded Kaleiva as the squealing cry of a different gryphon echoed through the air, and the creature itself swooped down at her from far above, its rider wielding a spear. He thrust it at her with deadly accuracy but she managed to dodge — barely. The gryphon screeched again and dove for her.

    Kaleiva didn’t think. She simply acted. Diving for the discarded spear, she pulled it from the ground and whirled around, throwing it at her attacker in a desperate attempt to defend herself.

    The Gryphonrider saw the spear coming too late, and as his gryphon beat its wings maniacally, trying to reverse its downward momentum, the weapon embedded itself in the animal’s feathery chest.

    The gryphon shrieked, and dropped like a stone, falling to the ground several feet away, dead, its rider pinned beneath it and struggling to free himself.

    Kaleiva fled, running for the forest. Halfway up the slope, she stopped and turned to look over her shoulder. No longer could she see Culvin, but she knew that by now, either he was dead or among the prisoners. Fighting back tears, she looked ahead again and continued on.

    Enara, after all, could not survive on her own.

    “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.” -- Nick Fury

    #133559
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    @rebekah12 Thanks! 🙂

    Im about to add the next one now

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 2 hours ago by Emma Walker.

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #133561
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    Esthelle’s Story snippet eight

    ——————————

    He nodded slowly, “You are right, and you’ve been the only one to even guess.”

    Esthelle frowned. “Why are you doing this? Is this so important as to get every girl to participate? One girl has been crying because she was practically ripped from her parents. Another is already betrothed. Some don’t want to be here…. some…” She stopped, realizing that she was scolding the king.

    He had just stood there taking in each word. When she stopped he nodded. “Allow me to explain, please.” He gestured for her to sit down again, then he did as well.

    Esthelle looked into his eyes. She could sense this kindness in him.

    “I regret what I did to Vaei. I do. But I had no choice. The counsel has been at me to get a new wife for months, and I knew I’d have to give in eventually. I said to bring a girl. I didn’t mean to gather a group of them. I didn’t want this to happen, believe me. I’m secretly interviewing each of you now so that I can end all this as quickly as possible and so that you all may return to the comfort of your homes.”

    “All of us but one.” She added.

    He reluctantly nodded. “I’m sorry about that.”

    Esthelle could sense that he was saying the truth. She nodded slowly.

    “I truly mean it.”

    “I know.” She replied.

    He stood, “I’m afraid I must call this visit to an end, for now. But I hope to see you again.”

    Esthelle smiled slightly, standing. “Thank you, my lord.”

    He grinned and walked her to the door.

    Heyga waited outside. “I can walk you back, miss,”

    “No need, I can find my way..” she quietly replied.

    Esthelle could still hear their words as she walked away.

    “I can go get the next one, sir.” Heyga spoke.

    The king replied. “No, no more. I’ve already made a decision.”

    ……

    Esthelle arrived back at their room, closing the door behind her silently. The other girls stared as she walked over to a chair and sat down, and pulled a hand to her mouth in shock.

    She had just talked to the king. He had already chosen a queen, but Myla hadn’t been interviewed yet.

    Esthelle looked over at her friend with fear in her eyes.

    Before any of the girls could speak, Heyga entered.

    “The lord has decided not to do anymore interviews today, ladies. I will return this evening and give you an update on your progress.”

    Then she smiled and left.

    Esthelle let out a breath of air and stood, walking over to her bed. She laid down silently.

    The other girls exchanged looks, and eyed their friend in silence.

    The rest of the day was spent in quietness. Those who spoke, only whispered.

    In the afternoon Esthelle rose from her bed. She straightened her dress and brushed through her hair.

    Heyga soon entered the room again. “Hello, girls.”

    The girls smiled slightly. Most of them were standing.

    “I have news for you.” She smiled, “the lord who was to interview all of you, was actually the real king.”

    Aillia’s eyes widened and she looked over at Esthelle, whose eyes were on Heyga.

    “He was interviewing all of you to choose a girl early.”

    Myla frowned.

    “He found a girl early into the questioning. He has chosen her.”

    “Who was it?” Rose asked.

    Heyga smiled at her, then gestured to Esthelle. “Miss Esthelle was chosen.”

    Esthelle eyes widened. She felt weak, and would’ve probably dropped to the floor had Rose and Aillia not been there to catch her. They helped her into a chair.

    Esthelle’s mind was spinning. She could vaguely hear Heyga say, “The rest of you will be able to return to your homes tomorrow.”

    The woman was turning to go, but Esthelle quickly hurried to her, “Wait, please..” the woman stopped and turned to her, “where is the king?”

    “He’s in the throne room.”

    “Take me there.” Esthelle murmured.

    “But- miss! You can’t go without an invitation, or you could be killed.”

    “So be it. But I want to speak to him.”

    The woman slowly nodded, “alright,” She gestured for Esthelle to follow.

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #133581
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    Continuation of my Haven story (apologies if you have an issue with heights)

    ~*~

    Unlike the outer masonry of the wall, which had been intentionally made smooth to keep invaders from climbing it unaided, the interior side was formed of rough-cut stones with large gaps between them.  Nadia had little trouble finding hand- and footholds, and she’d climbed sections of wall before.  She would have to be cautious of the sections where weather had worn the rock smooth.

    The gypsy proceeded to scale the wall with ease, glancing up every few minutes to note the progress of her companion.  Ada scampered up the wall like a four-legged spider, seemingly without pause to find a path or catch her breath.  She was swiftly approaching the overhanging machicolations of the battlements.

    Nadia risked a glance downward when she was almost halfway up the wall.  Luckily she had a head for heights; otherwise, she may have swooned from vertigo.  Below on the flagstones the castle’s citizens gathered and churned like a disturbed ant colony, barely the size of insects from this distance.  The ground was alarmingly far away.  It was almost surreal, how miniscule everything appeared from this height.

    Centering herself, the gypsy began her ascent again, perhaps a little slower and with more caution.  She could hear shouts from the battlements above as the men struggled to move the wyvern’s corpse.  After a few more moments’ climbing Nadia glanced up just in time to see Ada worm her way between two corbels and vanish onto the ramparts.

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

    #133642
    Rebekah12
    @rebekah12

    Chapter 4

     

    The darkness was thick, almost as though she could touch it, and blacker than she’d ever seen it. If she held her hand in front of her face, she only saw a vague outline. Sometimes she saw nothing at all.

    Enara weighed heavy in her arms, and Kaleiva stopped long enough to switch her little sister to a more comfortable position.

    When she’d reached the place where she’d laid her little sister, she found her unconscious, which honestly, was just as well. The nearest town, Ardov, where her grandmother, and her mother’s other relatives lived, was a full day’s walk to the west, and it would be much easier to get there without Enara groaning in pain at every unavoidable jolt.

    Hours of endless, exhausting walking had passed since the two had left what remained of the village, and Kaleiva’s heart ached. She’d refused to allow herself to process what had happened. The weight of it threatened to crush her as it was, but if she allowed herself to stumble, to stop moving, then it most certainly would. Allowing herself to think, to grieve, could happen once she reached her grandmother’s house. Enara had to come first. If she didn’t get some sort of care, then her injuries, both physical and emotional, would only get worse.

    Kaleiva stumbled in the dark, and her already-aching feet protested. She mumbled something incoherent under her breath, and kept on, forcing the pain out of her mind. Her body cried out for sleep, but she ignored it. Finding help was in the best interest of both her and her little sister. It was the only clear step forward.

    How. . . much. . . longer. . .?

    Enara let out a quiet moan, then her eyelids fluttered, at last opening to frame her dark eyes. “K. . . Kaley?” she mumbled quietly.

    Kaleiva stopped walking, and gently laid her little sister down upon the ground. There was no use in continuing on tonight. She gently stroked Enara’s hair, and looked into her bruised, burn-speckled face. “It’s okay, En. I’m here. I’m here.”

    “Kaley. . . is anyone else here? Culve? Uncle Jen? Mama? Papa?” Her voice cracked at the last two names.

    Kaleiva felt a sob rise in her throat, but she managed to choke it back. She opened her mouth to answer, but no sound came out. Tears welling up in her eyes, she shook her head slowly.

    Enara closed her eyes, and sniffled quietly. Then she opened them again, wincing slightly. “Kaley, it hurts.”

    Kaleiva wished she had a torch of some kind so that she could see what kind of injuries her sister had. “I know it hurts. Enara, it’s going to be okay. I promise. I’m taking you to Mama’s parents. They’ll take care of you, I promise.”

    Enara nodded a little, then let out a quiet sigh, drifting back to sleep. Kaleiva lay down beside her sister, and held her close. Then she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

    She dreamed of her family.

    “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.” -- Nick Fury

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